ABOVE: Yizalle Whitfield, freshman quarterback, looks to run the ball down the field. Whitfield gained 21 passing yards during the game against Midland. (Tessa Castor/Staff photographer)
By Daegiona Wilson
The Southwestern Moundbuilder football team opened the season on Saturday with a 17-41 loss against the Midland Warriors at Jantz Stadium.
Midland’s quarterback, Noah Oswald, had a big night, opening the game with a three-yard carry and ending the first half with 207 passing yards. The Builders struggled offensively, turning the ball over five times. This allowed the Warriors to convert four touchdowns off of Builder turnovers, resulting in the Warriors finishing the half with a 28-0 lead.
Senior athlete Tanner Spencer (Arkansas City) scored the first Builder touchdown out of the wildcat formation in mid-third quarter showing that SC still had some energy after the long first half. Junior running back, Keyshawn Wyatt (Dallas), came up big for the Builders rushing for 96 yards on 17 carries. After being asked “What kept the momentum for you going in the game?” Wyatt’s response was “Really, it’s just we relied on each other throughout the whole game… We really needed to step it up and when one side of the ball was struggling, then we always counted on the other side of the ball to make plays…”
Freshman, Will Mueller (Springdale, Arkansas), showed true leadership, stepping in and giving the builders light, reducing the number of turnovers in the second half. Mueller passed for 50 yards and rushed for ten. Head coach, Brad Griffin, spoke about Muellers leadership saying, “He was pretty productive… this is his first collegian game, he came in and showed some poise”.
Redshirt freshmen, Terrell Lightfoot (Grand Prairie, Texas), played a huge second half for the Builders, returning a 91-yard kick for a touchdown, improving the score to 17-41 with 8:04 left on the clock.
The kick return wasn’t enough, as Midland’s Dalton Tremayne soon completed a 20 yard return to boost the score to 48-17.
Redshirt freshmen, Ricco William, had a sack for a loss of 8 yards. Delaun LaFlore and Jean-Framcois Kouame combined for 9 tackles, to add to the Builders effort defensively.
Looking ahead, defensive back, Marcus Richard, thought of this game as “A warm up…” as they “Have the number 17 team in the country next week”. The SC builders take on Ottawa on Saturday at Jantz Stadium at 6 p.m. The builders will go back to the drawing boards, as they are looking for their first conference win.